MOV125: “Heeeere’s Johnny”

The boys kick off their month of scary movies with the King and Kubrick classic “The Shining”. In theaters, they head out to see the time travel action thriller, “Looper”. From there, it’s off to the trailer park for the 2012 remake of “Red Dawn”. In movie news we ask if you’re ready for a “Hungry Hungry Hippos” movie, if you’d care if “The Wizard of Oz” was converted to 3D, and whether or not “Lincoln” has any influence over your Presidential vote. It’s the 125th reel of COL Movies: “Heeeeere’s Johnny!”

News:

The Past: The Shining (1980)
Rotten Tomatoes 88% Fresh; 91% Audience

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

Trivia:

  • During the making of the movie, Stanley Kubrick would occasionally call Stephen King at 3:00 a.m. and ask him questions like “Do you believe in God?”
  • Stephen King was first approached by Stanley Kubrick about making a film version of ‘The Shining’ via an early morning phone call (England is five hours ahead of Maine in time zones). King, suffering from a hangover, shaving and at first thinking one of his kids was injured, was shocked when his wife told him Kubrick was really on the phone. King recalled that the first thing Kubrick did was to immediately start talking about how optimistic ghost stories are, because they suggest that humans survive death. “What about hell?” King asked. Kubrick paused for several moments before finally replying, “I don’t believe in hell.”
  • The Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon was used for the front exterior, but all the interiors as well as the back of the hotel were specially built at Elstree Studios in London, England. The management of the Timberline requested that Stanley Kubrick not use 217 for a room number (as specified in the book), fearing that nobody would want to stay in that room ever again. Kubrick changed the script to use the nonexistent room number 237.
  • Stanley Kubrick decided that having the hedge animals come alive (as they do in the book) was unworkable due to restrictions in special effects, so he opted for a hedge maze instead.
  • There is a great deal of confusion regarding this film and the number of retakes of certain scenes. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the scene where Wendy is backing up the stairs swinging the baseball bat was shot 127 times, which is a record for the most takes of a single scene. However, both Steadicam operator Garrett Brown and assistant editor Gordon Stainforth say this is inaccurate – the scene was shot about 35-45 times. Brown does say however that the scene where Hallorann explains to Danny what shining is was shot 148 times, which is a world record.
  • Stanley Kubrick considered both Robert De Niro and Robin Williams for the role of Jack Torrance but decided against both of them. Kubrick didn’t think De Niro would suit the part after watching his performance in Taxi Driver, as he deemed De Niro not psychotic enough for the role. He didn’t think Williams would suit the part after watching his performance in Mork & Mindy, as he deemed him too psychotic for the role. According to Stephen King, Kubrick also briefly considered Harrison Ford.
  • Stephen King tried to talk Stanley Kubrick out of casting Jack Nicholson in the lead suggesting, instead, either Michael Moriarty or Jon Voight. King had felt that watching either of these normal-looking men gradually descend into madness, would have immensely improved the dramatic thrust of the storyline.
  • The scrapbook that Jack finds in the novel makes a brief appearance next to his typewriter in the scene when Jack tells Wendy never to bother him while he’s working.
  • Jack Nicholson ad-libbed the “little pigs” dialog towards the end of the film.
  • During the scene where Wendy brings Jack breakfast in bed, it can be seen in the reflection of the mirror that Jack’s T-shirt says “Stovington” on it. While not mentioned in the film, this is the name of the school that Jack used to teach at in the Stephen King novel.
  • Stanley Kubrick, known for his compulsiveness and numerous retakes, got the difficult shot of blood pouring from the elevators in only three takes. This would be remarkable if it weren’t for the fact that the shot took nine days to set up; every time the doors opened and the blood poured out, Kubrick would say, “It doesn’t look like blood.” In the end, the shot took approximately a year to get right.
  • During filming, Stanley Kubrick made the cast watch Eraserhead, Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist to put them in the right frame of mind.
  • All of the interior rooms of The Overlook Hotel were filmed at Elstree Studios in England, including The Colorado Lounge, where Jack does his typing. Because of the intense heat generated from the lighting used to recreate window sunlight (the room took 700,000 watts of light per window to make it look like a snowy day outside), the lounge set caught fire. Fortunately all of the scenes had been completed there, so the set was rebuilt with a higher ceiling, and the same area was eventually used by Steven Spielberg as the snake-filled Well of the Souls tomb in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • The Louisville Slugger baseball bat with which Wendy Torrance bludgeons Jack is signed by Carl Yastrzemski, Hall of Fame Red Sox player. Author Stephen King is a huge Red Sox fan.
  • Every time Jack talks to a “ghost”, there’s a mirror in the scene, except in the food locker scene. This is because in the food locker scene he only talks to Grady through the door. We never see Grady in this scene.
  • According to Stephen King, the title is inspired by the refrain in the Plastic Ono Band’s song, “Instant Karma” (by John Lennon), which features the chorus: “We all shine on.”
  • At the time of release, it was the policy of the MPAA to not allow the portrayal of blood in trailers that would be approved for all audiences. Bizarrely, the trailer for The Shining consists entirely of the shot of blood pouring out of the elevator. Stanley Kubrick had convinced the board the blood flooding out of the elevator was actually rusty water.
  • Because Danny Lloyd was so young and since it was his first acting job, Stanley Kubrick was highly protective of the child. During the shooting of the movie, Lloyd was under the impression that the film he was making was a drama, not a horror movie. He only realized the truth seven years later, when, aged 13, he was shown a heavily edited version of the film. He didn’t see the uncut version of the film until he was 17 – eleven years after he’d made it.
  • The throwing around of the tennis ball inside the overlook hotel was Jack Nicholson’s idea. The script originally only specified that, “Jack is not working”.
  • Outtakes of the shots of the Volkswagen traveling towards the Overlook at the start of the film were plundered by Ridley Scott (with Stanley Kubrick’s permission) when he was forced to add the ‘happy ending’ to the original release of Blade Runner.
  • The “snowy” maze near the conclusion of the movie consisted of 900 tons of salt and crushed Styrofoam.
  • Stanley Kubrick’s first choice to play Danny Torrance was Cary Guffey, the young boy from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Guffey’s parents apparently turned down the offer due to the film’s subject matter.
  • Billie Gibson, the old woman in the tub, has been falsely rumored to be Ann Gibson, Mel Gibson’s late mother.
  • Neither Lia Beldam (young woman in bath) nor Billie Gibson (old woman in bath) appeared in another movie before or after this one.
  • There were so many changes to the script during shooting that Jack Nicholson claimed he stopped reading it. He would read only the new pages that were given to him each day.
  • Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind wrote and performed a full electronic score for the film, but Stanley Kubrick discarded most of it and used a soundtrack of mostly classical music. Only the adaptation of Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique” during the opening credits, the music during the family’s drive to the hotel, and a few other brief moments (such as Halloran’s plane trip) survive in the final version. Wendy Carlos once noted that she’d like to see the original score released on CD, but there were too many legal snags at the time. As of 2005, Carlos’ score for the film has been remastered, and is a part of “Rediscovering Lost Scores Volumes 1 and 2”.
  • For the scene in which Jack breaks down the bathroom door, the props department built a door that could be easily broken. However, Jack Nicholson had worked as a volunteer fire marshal and tore it apart far too easily. The props department were then forced to build a stronger door.
  • Anjelica Huston lived with Jack Nicholson during the time of the shooting. She recalled that, due to the long hours on the set and Stanley Kubrick’s trademark style of repetitive takes, Nicholson would often return from a day’s shooting, walk straight to the bed, collapse onto it and would immediately fall asleep.
  • Prior to hiring Diane Johnson as his writing partner, director/producer Stanley Kubrick rejected a screenplay written by Stephen King himself. King’s script was a much more literal adaptation of the novel, a much more traditional horror film than the film Kubrick would ultimately make. He was considering hiring Johnson because he admired her novel “The Shadow Knows,” but when he found out she was a Doctor of Gothic Studies, he became convinced she was the person for the job.
  • The making-of documentary shot by Vivian Kubrick shows that the hedge maze set, while nowhere near as large as the maze in the film (which was mostly a matte painting), was still large and complex enough to require a detailed map. In the commentary for her documentary, she notes that many crew members really got lost in the maze, dryly noting that it now reminds her of the lost-backstage scene in This Is Spinal Tap.
  • There was no air conditioning on the sets, meaning it would often become very hot. The hedge maze set was stifling; actors and crew would often strip off as much of the heavy clothing they were wearing as quickly as they could once a shot was finished.
  • Tony Burton, who had a brief role as Larry Durkin the garage owner, arrived on set one day carrying a chess set in hopes of getting in a game with someone during a break from filming. Stanley Kubrick, an avid chess player who had in his youth played for money, noticed the chess set. Despite production being behind schedule, Kubrick proceeded to call off filming for the day and engage in a set of games with Burton. Burton only managed to win one game, but nevertheless the director thanked him, since it had been some time that he’d played against a challenging opponent.
  • Stanley Kubrick wanted to shoot the film in script order. This meant having all the relevant sets standing by at all times. In order to achieve this, every soundstage at Elstree was used, with all the sets built, pre-lit and ready to go during the entire shoot at the studios.
  • To construct the interiors of the Overlook, Stanley Kubrick and his production designer, Roy Walker purposely set out to make it look like an amalgamation of bits and pieces of real hotels, rather than giving it one single design ethic. Kubrick had sent many photographers around the country photographing hotel rooms and picking his favorite. For example, the red men’s bathroom was modeled on a men’s room in the Biltmore Hotel in Arizona designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Colorado lounge was modeled on the lounge of the Ahwanee Hotel in the Yosemite Valley. Indeed, the chandeliers, windows and fireplace are nearly identical, so much so that people entering the Ahwahnee often ask if it’s “the Shining hotel”.
  • Steadicam operator Garrett Brown accomplished many of the ultra-low tracking corridor sequences from a wheelchair on which his invention was mounted. Grips would either pull backward or push forward the wheelchair, depending on the requirement of the shot
  • In the party scene, Stanley Kubrick told the extras to mouth their words.
  • One of the shots in the part where Jack is bouncing a ball against a wall took several days to film. This was because the shot entailed the ball bouncing from the wall onto the camera lens as it filmed. As Stanley Kubrick was so determined to get this precise shot, the camera kept rolling while the ball was continually hit against the wall in the hope of it bouncing back and hitting the lens. It took everyone on the entire unit having a go at it in between other shots before the shot was finally achieved after several days.
  • The famous opening scene was shot in Glacier National Park in Montana just north of St. Mary’s Lake. The road seen in the scene, Going-to-the-Sun Road, does actually close down during winter and is only negotiable by snowcat. Kubrick initially sent a second unit to the Rockies in Colorado, but they reported back that the area wasn’t very interesting. When Stanley Kubrick saw the footage they had shot, he was furious, and fired the entire unit. He then sent Greg MacGillivray, a noted helicopter cameraman, to Montana and it was McGillivray who shot the scene.
  • This was voted the ninth scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • The movie’s line “Here’s Johnny!” was voted as the #68 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100), and as the #36 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.
  • Much like the casting of the “Jack” character, Stephen King also disliked the casting of Shelley Duvall as “Wendy.” King said that he envisioned Wendy as being a blond former cheerleader type who never had to deal with any true problems in her life making her experience in the Overlook all the more terrifying. He felt that Duvall was too emotionally vulnerable and appeared to have gone through a lot in her life, basically the exact opposite of how he pictured the character.
  • The film was released in the United States on star Scatman Crothers’ 70th birthday.
  • The role of Lloyd the Bartender was originally to have been played by Harry Dean Stanton, who was unable to take the part due to his commitment to Alien.
  • Scatman Crothers was a friend of Jack Nicholson’s, and when he heard about the Halloran role, he asked Nicholson to talk to Kubrick about casting him.
  • The two tracked vehicles in the movie are the Activ Fischer VW Powered 4 Speed Snow-Trak (referred to and labeled on the vehicle as a “SnowCat”) and a Thiokol Imp Snow-Cat (this is the vehicle Wendy and Danny escape in).
  • During an interview for the UK’S The 100 Greatest Scary Moments, Shelley Duvall revealed that due to her role requiring her to be in an almost constant state of hysteria, she eventually ran out of tears from crying so hard. To overcome this she kept bottles of water with her at all times on set to remain hydrated.
  • The image of the two girls in the hotel corridor was inspired by the photograph “Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967” by Diane Arbus.
  • First film of Manning Redwood.
  • Approximately 5000 people auditioned for the role of Danny over a six-month period. The interviews were carried out in Chicago, Denver and Cincinnati by Stanley Kubrick’s assistant Leon Vitali and his wife, Kersti. Aspiring actors were asked to send in photographs of themselves, and from the photographs, a list was made of the boys who looked right, who were then called in to interview. Vitali would then have the boys do some minor improvisation on camera, and Kubrick would review the footage, gradually narrowing the list down.
  • According to Variety magazine, the film took almost 200 days to shoot. However, according to assistant editor Gordon Stainforth, it took much more, nearly a year. The film was originally supposed to take 17 weeks, but it ultimately took 51. Because the film ran so long, Warren Beatty’s Reds and Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark were both delayed as they were both waiting to shoot in Elstree Studios.
  • When Steadicam inventor/operator Garrett Brown was hired to work on the picture, he was assured that there was no way the shoot would run over six months, as he had to be back in the US in six months time to shoot Rocky II. Six months into the shoot, less than half the film had been shot, and for several months, Brown worked one week in London on “The Shining,” one week in Philadelphia on “Rocky,” commuting by Concorde every Sunday.
  • To achieve the smoothness of the opening shots, cameraman Greg MacGillivray secured a wide angle Arriflex camera to the front of a helicopter, then balanced the blades to remove any vibrations. Even the shot where the camera comes down behind the car, passes it out, and goes over the edge is done via the helicopter.
  • The idea for Danny Lloyd to move his finger when he was talking as Tony was his own; he did it spontaneously during his very first audition.
  • For the scenes when we can hear Jack typing but we cannot see what he is typing, Kubrick recorded the sound of a typist actually typing the words “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Some people argue that each key on a typewriter sounds slightly different, and Kubrick wanted to ensure authenticity, so he insisted that the actual words be typed.
  • The maze was constructed on an airfield near Elstree studios, by weaving branches to chicken wire mounted on empty plywood boxes. The maze was shot using an extremely short lens (a 9.8mm, which gives a horizontal viewing angle of 90 degrees) which was kept dead level at all times, to make the hedges seem much bigger and more imposing than they were in reality.
  • The only shot in the film not achieved in-camera was the slow zoom in on the model of the maze, with the tiny figures of Danny and Wendy walking around at the center. To achieve this shot, a model of the maze was shot from six feet above. Then the small central section of the maze was built to scale next to an apartment complex. Actors Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd then walked about in the central section whilst the camera crew filmed it from the roof of the apartment building. The two shots were then simply composited together.
  • The shot of the tennis ball rolling into Danny’s toys took 50 takes to get right.
  • The scene of Hallorann approaching the hotel in the snow-cat was shot in real snow approaching the real Timberline hotel in Oregon.
  • The scene towards the end of the film, where Wendy is running up the stairway carrying a knife, was shot 35 times; the equivalent of running up the Empire State Building.
  • The 1921 photograph at the end of the film was a genuine 1920s photo, with Jack Nicholson’s head airbrushed onto the body of another man. Stanley Kubrick originally planned to use extras and shoot the photo himself, but he realized he couldn’t make it look any better than the real thing.
  • Despite receiving generally unfavorable reviews upon its initial release, the film is today regarded as one of the best horror movies ever made. In 2001, it was ranked 29th on AFI’s ‘100 Years…100 Thrills’ list. In 2003, Jack Torrance was named the 25th greatest villain on the AFI’s ‘100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains’ list. The film was named the scariest film of all time by Channel 4 in 2003, and Total Film had it as the 5th greatest horror film in 2004. Bravo TV placed it 6th on their list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments in 2005. In addition, film critics Kim Newman and Jonathan Romney both placed it in their all-time top ten lists for the 2002 Sight and Sound poll.
  • Jack mentions Portland, Maine to Lloyd in the bar. Portland, Maine is where Stephen King grew up.
  • Despite Stanley Kubrick’s fierce demands on everyone, Jack Nicholson admitted to having a good working relationship with him. It was with Shelley Duvall that he was a completely different director. He allegedly picked on her more than anyone else, as seen in the documentaries Making ‘The Shining’ and Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures. He would really lose his temper with her, even going so far as to say that she was wasting the time of everyone on the set. She later reflected that he was probably pushing her to her limits to get the best out of her, and that she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything – but it was not something she ever wished to repeat.
  • James Mason can be seen visiting the set of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining in Vivian Kubrick’s TV documentary Making ‘The Shining’. Stanley Kubrick did not usually allow visitors to his set, but made an exception for Mason, who had memorably played Humbert Humbert for him in Lolita.
  • Stephen King didn’t know that ‘redrum’ spelled murder backwards until he actually typed it. He loved the various connotations of the word.
  • Wendy swings the baseball bat 41 times.
  • According to Shelley Duvall the infamous ‘Heere’s Johnny!’ scene took 3 days to film and the use of 60 doors.
  • On the DVD commentary track for Making ‘The Shining’, Vivian Kubrick reveals that Shelley Duvall received “no sympathy at all” from anyone on the set. This was apparently Stanley Kubrick’s tactic in making her feel utterly hopeless. This is most evident in the documentary when he tells Vivian, “Don’t sympathize with Shelley.” Kubrick then goes on to tell Duvall, “It doesn’t help you.”
  • Stanley Kubrick had envisioned Shelley Duvall as his more timid, dependent version of Wendy Torrance from the very beginning. However Jack Nicholson after reading the novel, wanted Jessica Lange for the part of Wendy, and even recommended her to Kubrick, as he felt she fit Stephen King’s version of the character. After explaining the changes he had made, Kubrick convinced him that Duvall was the correct choice, as she best suited the emotionally fragile Wendy he had in mind. Many years later, Nicholson told EMPIRE magazine he thought Duvall was fantastic and called her work in the film, “the toughest job that any actor that I’ve seen had.”
  • This film was shot in the same film studio that was used for Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. In fact, much of the same fake snow used for this film was used for the Hoth scenes. Stephen King visited the set of both films, and met director Irvin Kershner. This later became the basis for part of his book “It.” Kirshner had been nicknamed “Kersh,” and was directing the first Star Wars film to feature Yoda. In the book, It, there is a character named Mrs. Kersh, who we are told sounds like Yoda when she talks.
  • The outtakes link between this movie and Blade Runner was not the only element that connected the two. Actor Joe Turkel who plays Lloyd (the bartender who serves Jack), also played Dr. Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner. Outtakes aside, Turkel is the only other common cast/crew link between both films.
  • The two Ray Noble and His Orchestra songs used were not actually from the 1920s: “Midnight, the Stars and You” (played in the ballroom) was recorded Feb 16, 1934, and “It’s All Forgotten Now” (heard faintly when Grady is talking to Jack in the bathroom) was recorded July 11, 1934.
  • Shelley Duvall is the only actor/actress playing a member of the Torrance family whose character name is not the same as his/her real life name – Jack Nicholson plays a character named Jack and Danny Lloyd plays a character named Danny.
  • For a TV commercial in 2010 for “Premier Inn” hotels (UK), British comedian Lenny Henry re-enacted Jack Nicholson’s “Heeere’s Johnny” scene (“Heeere’s Lenny”) in which he demolished a hotel bathroom door with an ax.
  • Despite the critical success of the film, it was nominated for two Golden Raspberry awards: Worst Actress for Shelley Duvall and Worst Director for ‘Stanley Kubrick’. It “lost” both awards.
  • There is a character named Richard Haloran in the film Dementia 13, about an axe murderer. It was produced by Roger Corman, who directed several of Jack Nicholson’s early films.
  • One of ‘Stanley Kubrick”s favorite films was Eraserhead, directed by David Lynch. Kubrick cited the film as a creative influence during the making of The Shining and screened Eraserhead to put the cast and crew in the mood he wanted to achieve for the film.
  • When Jack uses an axe to break through the bathroom door, he shouts “Here’s Johnny”. This is probably a reference to the catchphrase of chat-show host Johnny Carson. However an alternative explanation is that it is a reference to an incident that occurred in the 1960s when Johnny Cash used a fire axe to break a connecting “doorway” between two motel rooms that he and his band members were using while on tour, and then broke through one of the doors from the corridor to make it look as if a thief had broken in and trashed the rooms.
  • Stephen King got the idea for The Shining while his family were staying at the Stanley Hotel. They were the last guests before it shut down for the Winter. He saw a group of nuns leaving the hotel, and it got him thinking that the place had suddenly become godless. The King family stayed in Room 217, the haunted room in the novel but Room 237 in the film; a fire hose also resembled a snake (which doesn’t appear in the film but does in the TV mini-series), and King had already been playing around with a story idea about a boy with ESP, so he combined the two plotlines.
  • Jack tells Lloyd in the bar that Danny once messed around with his work papers. This mirrors an event in Stephen King’s life, when his son once started playing around with his writing notes. He felt like killing him.
  • The first of Stephen King’s books to be banned from school libraries because of the theme of wicked parents.
  • The script was constantly changing on set, sometimes several times a day. The cast got very irritated by this, especially Jack Nicholson. Whenever the production team would give the cast copies of the script to memorize, Jack Nicholson would throw his away without even looking at it, as he knew that it was only going to change again.
  • The book that Jack was writing contained the one sentence (“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”) repeated over and over. Stanley Kubrick had each page individually typed. For the Italian version of the film, Kubrick used the phrase “Il mattino ha l’ oro in bocca” (“He who wakes up early meets a golden day”). For the German version, it was “Was Du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf Morgen” (“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”). For the Spanish version, it was “No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano” (“Rising early will not make dawn sooner.”). For the French version, it was “Un ‘Tiens’ vaut mieux que deux ‘Tu l’auras'” (“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”).
  • Kubrick originally wanted approximately 70 takes of the scene where Halloran (Scatman Crothers) gets killed by Jack Torrance, but Jack Nicholson talked Kubrick into going easy on the 69-year-old Crothers and stopping after 40. At one point during the filming, Crothers became so exasperated with Kubrick’s notorious, compulsive style of excessive retakes that he broke down and cried, asking “What do you want, Mr. Kubrick?”
  • Director Trademark: (Stanley Kubrick):[Bathroom] Wendy hides from Jack in a bathroom during Jack’s ax attack.
  • When first released, the film had an alternate ending: after the shot of Jack’s body, the film dissolves to a scene of policemen outside the hotel. It then cuts to a scene in a hospital, where Wendy is resting in a bed and Danny is playing in a waiting room. Ullman arrives and tells her that they have been unable to locate her husband’s body anywhere on the property. On his way out, Ullman gives Danny a ball – the same one that mysteriously rolled into a hallway earlier in the film, before Danny was attacked in room 237. Ullman laughs and walks away and the film dissolves to the move through the corridors towards the photo. Stanley Kubrick had the scene removed a week after the film was released.
  • Danny croaks “Redrum” 43 times before his mother wakes up and Jack starts to break into the apartment.
  • There is only one on-screen murder in the film.
  • The scene where Jack is chasing Danny through the maze took over a month to shoot. During the shoot, crew-members often found themselves lost and had to walkie-talkie for assistance.
  • Alcohol consumption was a federal crime between 1919 and 1933. The year Jack appears to have photographed for the last scene (1921), and the year President Warren G. Harding (in the book) ordered a case of Coors Beer from the bar (1922) would have occurred during Prohibition.
  • Stephen King was reportedly disappointed in this film. In an interview in the June 1986 issue of American Film he said “It’s like a great big beautiful Cadillac with no motor inside, you can sit in it and you can enjoy the smell of the leather upholstery – the only thing you can’t do is drive it anywhere. So I would do everything different. The real problem is that Kubrick set out to make a horror picture with no apparent understanding of the genre. Everything about it screams that from beginning to end, from plot decisions to the final scene”. In particular, King disliked the casting of Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance. This was because he felt that in the novel, it was pivotal that Jack is initially a good man who is slowly overcome by the forces of evil and who is fighting a losing battle against alcoholism. King was of the opinion that due to the casting of Nicholson, who was well known for playing unstable characters, Jack in the film is very much on the edge when the story begins, and the character does not possess the inner goodness so vital to Jack of the novel. King wanted to cast someone who could play the character as more genial in the early stages; apparently he was very keen on Jon Voight. He was also hugely disappointed that the themes of the evils of alcoholism and the disintegration of the family unit were relatively unimportant in the film due to his own battle with alcoholism and because of this personal investment in that aspect of the novel he was largely disheartened by the film.
  • In the novel, The Shining, Dick Hallorann survives (though Jack attacks him with a croquet mallet, not an axe), and he, Wendy, and Danny escape together.
  • In the novel, Wendy is first attacked by Jack with a croquet mallet; in the movie, she serves the first blow to Jack with a baseball bat. Even more ironically, he never strikes her at all throughout the entire film; he becomes violent and homicidal with only one other character.

Talking Points:

  • Still Scary?
  • The Soundtrack (Done by Wendy Carlos of Tron fame)
  • The horror of it being all in the mind and not a “typical” horror film – more scary?

What We Learned:

  • Some places are like people, some shine and some don’t.
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I’ve always appreciated this movie, and other Stanley Kubrick movies for it’s technical value. The acting was great, the cinematography was great but the problem I have with it is its pacing. I always feel a little bored when watching this movie. It’s a movie for your what you haven’t watched and should see list, but it’s not on my rewatch list.
Carlos: My siblings and I would watch this film every time it was on, which happened always to be on Saturdays right before midnight. It succeeds because it is a slow paced horror film – it is one about atmosphere and tension. The entire film builds to the end when the craziness happens. It is also a masterwork of imagery, not fancy complicated, but powerful images that stop you dead and work into you. Everyone who has ever seen The Shining is affected by it, and that’s impressive even 30+ years later.
Steve: I’ve always liked this movie, but not loved it. It’s probably just that I was waaay to young to understand it as a kid and today it just seems to drag along. However, I love just about anything Stephen King puts out there and when put together with an epic director like Stanley Kubrick I would expect nothing less than a classic. Innovative and truly scary because it’s “all in your mind”.

The Present: Looper
Rotten Tomatoes 94% Fresh; 90% Audience

Director: Rian Johnson

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

Trivia:

  • This movie marks the third collaboration between director Rian Johnson and lead actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the first being Brick, and the second being a quick cameo in The Brothers Bloom as a bar patron with guitar
  • Emily Blunt revealed that she agreed to star in the movie after reading half of the script. She didn’t even know what her character was.
  • The incredibly large “Gat” pistols are actual production firearms, and not just a prop created for the film. It is a Magnum Research BFR (Big Frame Revolver) chambered in .45-70 Government, a rifle round originally adopted by the U.S. military in 1873. The BFR weighs roughly 4.5 pounds.
  • Bruce Willis fires two modern-looking submachine guns in one scene. These are examples of the FN P90, designed and manufactured by FN Herstal in Belgium.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt had prosthetics to make him look more like Bruce Willis in order to play his younger self. He also watched a lot of Bruce Willis films in preparation for the role so that he could impersonate some of his mannerisms.
  • Numbers are never shown on clocks/watches throughout the movie. Either symbols or no numbers are used on the clock-faces.
  • According to director Rian Johnson, Noah Segan (Kid Blue) took a number of classes to learn how to spin his GAT gun around his finger. Johnson told Entertainment Weekly that he filmed numerous takes of Segan spinning the 8-lb gun, but ended up using the one take where he accidentally flubbed and nearly dropped it, because Johnson thought it was funny.
  • A diner was built in the small town of Thibodaux, LA (about an hour north of New Orleans) where all of the diner interior/exterior scenes were shot. Locals saw the diner set and kept asking the film crew on when the new diner was going to open. Director Rian Johnson was later told that the diner set was still standing after Hurricane Isaac moved through in September 2012.
  • The scene where Young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls off the fire escape was filmed on the actor’s 30th birthday. Gordon-Levitt was left hanging on the stunt wires while the crew sang “Happy Birthday” and wheeled out birthday cake.

Talking Points:

  • Was it what you thought it would be?
  • There is always something scary about children with powers

Critic Notes:

  • Positives: Original and fresh; Clever dialogue; There is enough left unexplained that the viewer has to contribute his or her own interpretation; Interesting characters
  • Negatives: The time travel aspects were not well defined and just seemed to be affectations; Too many things going on just made it mind-numbing

What We Learned:

  • Time travel will be invented 30 years from now.
  • Time travel fries your brain like an egg.
  • In the future, don’t go to Paris – go to China.
  • Never let your target escape, even if it’s you.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I’m assuming this was awesome and when I do see it, I expect to love it.
Carlos: I was amazed. Having the time travel movie be a shell for an entirely different story was mind-bendingly brave. There were a few images/moments in this movie that made me squeal. The time travel isn’t deeply thought through because 1. it just makes your brain hurt and 2. it’s a way of telling this particular story. Rian Johnson is one of my favorite films, as Brick is like nothing you’ll ever see, but this movie really blew me away in how ballsy and interesting it becomes from about halfway in.
Steve: I didn’t really know what to expect going in, so I found the story and plot twists very interesting and different. Definitely an action and cerebral thriller in one, so it sucked me in. All in all, kudos for an original concept!

The Future: Red Dawn

Release: November 21, 2012

Director: Dan Bradley

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Isabel Lucas, Josh Hutcherson

Summary:

A town in Washington becomes the initial target of a foreign invasion. Under enemy occupation, the town’s citizens are taken prisoners. A group of young people, calling themselves ‘The Wolverines’ (after their high school mascot), band together in the surrounding woods. There, they train and organize themselves into a group of guerrilla fighters in order to liberate their town

Talking Points:

  • Necessary?
  • Significance of changing to North Koreans? (1984 was Russia, Cuba & Nicaragua)
  • Timing – we were not “at war” when the first came out so it was a gut check

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Good little modern take on a classic movie. In some sense I wish they would have called it something different or not make it a “remake”. Maybe mentioned the inspiration for it, but not really being a remake. Does that make any sense?
Carlos: Lost him!! 🙁
Steve: I always loved the original, so again this will be something from my childhood that’s being redone with a new spin. I’m going to give it the opportunity to be good, but I don’t think I’ll have the same visceral reaction I did when I was younger.

The Past: The Exorcist

The Present: Pitch Perfect

The Future: The Host (2013 – Saoirse Ronan)

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MOV120: “Suck It, Douchebag!”

In this episode of COL Movies it’s a veritable world tour as the boys head around the globe. First, it’s off to Hong Kong where the boys head back in time to check out the 1993 martial arts super-heroine film, “The Heroic Trio”. From there we’re back in the USA where we head to NYC to see how the bike messengers operate in “Premium Rush”. Finally we’re off to jolly old England to review the trailer for the much anticipated Bond film, “Skyfall” (not to be confused with that piece of junk, “Skyline”). All this and news about the upcoming film adaptation of the “Metal Gear Solid” game, more “Robocop” stuff, and how you might be able to catch “The Avengers” on the big screen again if you missed it the first time around. All this and more on this 120th reel of COL Movies – “Suck it, Douchebag!”

News:

The Past: The Heroic Trio (1992)
Rotten Tomatoes 88% Fresh; 61% Audience

Director: Johnnie To

Staring: Michelle Yeoh, Anita Mui, Maggie Cheung

Trivia:

  • The film has a huge cult following
  • Maggie Cheung was a recent Miss Hong Kong when she filmed the movie.
  • Anita Mui died in 2003 from cervical cancer after a long movie and singing career, through which she earned the moniker “The Madonna of Asia” for being very controversial with her content.
  • Lots of comparisons are made to this and the McG movie, “Charlie’s Angels”

Talking Points:

  • What the hell did I just watch?
  • Did they just blow up a sewer full of babies?

What We Learned:

  • Chinese superhero movies can be really wacky!

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: *blink, blink, blink* What did I just watch? Wait, there’s a sequel? Why did Michelle Yoeh do this movie? /cry. Plus side, Retrograde is still worse.
Ray: I love me some old Kung Fu / martial arts movies..many of hours of my childhood were wasted watching Samurai Sunday! Something about this just didn’t hold up… Maybe back in 1993 this would have been more entertaining to me, but something about the production comes off like a bad 80’s kung fu soft core porno, I can see why people seem to like this though.There are plenty of unintentionally funny moments. So maybe
Steve: I always remembered seeing this movie and wondered what other people would think. It’s fantastical, of course – but an interesting play on female superheros. It’s a movie where you have to just let go and enjoy the ride.

The Present: Premium Rush
Rotten Tomatoes 74% Fresh; 70% Audience

Director: David Koepp

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez

Trivia:

  • While filming, Joseph Gordon-Levitt rode his bike into a cab and smashed into the rear windshield, shattering it. He managed to block his face with his arms and needed 31 stitches on the right. Despite the large amount of blood streaming down his arm, he thought it was “f**king cool.” He took responsibility saying, “No, but it was my fault, I was going too fast.” Footage after the accident is shown in the end credits before the cast is listed.
  • Premium Rush was shot simultaneously as “Triple Rush” the TV docu-reality series about bike messengers in NY was wrapping up. And many of the stunt doubles and characters from the underground TV series appear in the movie
  • Bobby Monday’s use of the alias Forrest J Ackerman is a tribute to the real Forey Ackerman, noted (literary) science fiction and horror movie fan and memorabilia collector (and coiner of the term “sci fi” (1959)). He appeared in 48 movies in either bit parts or cameos, represented Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and even Hugo Gernsbeck (the “Hugo” after which the award is named) as their literary agent, and was widely regarded as a first-person source of historical veritas within Hollywood (due to his personal relationships with the the likes of Vincent Price, Karloff, and George Pal), and the Science Fiction community (see above).
  • Although some of the scenes are filmed at Columbia Law School, as stated in the movie, most of the interior and exterior scenes supposedly there are actually filmed in Lerner Hall (the student center).

Talking Points:

  • Does the film send a mixed message about illegal human trafficking?
  • “Sherlock Holmes” moments
  • 90% riding, about 10% dialogue
  • The Asian Bodyguards – woofy!

Critic Notes

  • Positives: The pace doesn’t give you much time to think about plausibility; The riding is thrilling through realistic NYC traffic; Not that it’s exactly Shakespeare, but it is entertaining; Michael Shannon is definitely a memorable bad guy; an adrenaline rush
  • Negatives: (not many negatives) Writers should have “put on the brakes”; Too cartoonish and unbelievable; Just never comes together because of a lack of consistent tone; While interesting, it just gets repetitive

What We Learned:

  • You can’t be zen if you’re wearing a gold chain.
  • Snorting Ritalin makes taking the Bar Exam a cakewalk
  • Brakes are death
  • The Hawala settles it’s own problems
  • The city is not your village.
  • The Bike wants to go fast.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I was never sure exactly what to expect in this movie but did seem like it would at least be somewhat fun. Wow, it was better then I thought it would be. The bike riding gave me a similar feeling to Run Lola Run. It was exciting at times but the bad guy was just annoying. But that could have also been the point. See it as a Matinee or wait for DVD.
Ray: Went in with really low expectations, but ended up really enjoying it. Is it as smart as everyone has been saying? Production wise for sure.. not so sure that the story is all that smart, but it’s not bad for a turn your brain off and enjoy the ride kinda flick. Great for a $5 Matinee
Steve: I didn’t think I would like this, but I have to admit that I wound up really enjoying it. I liked seeing it in the theater for the feeling as though I was watching it in one of those video rollercoaster rides. I don’t know how much I cared for the whole “cops are stupid or murderers” vibe, but I got how it was part of the plot.

The Future: Skyfall

Release: November 9, 2012

Director: Sam Mendes

Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench

Summary:

Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost

Talking Points:

  • How big of a bond fan are you?
  • Does it feel like a blend of Bond and Bourne?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: It’s Bond. There’s no reason why I wouldn’t see this. I’m excited for the new Q.
Ray: Sort of torn.. I like Daniel Craig, and i loved Casino Royale.. but Quantum was a big stinker for me… I’m hoping for good things though. I’ve seen almost every Bond flick multiple times.. even if this wasn’t already on the list I know I would see it eventually.
Steve: Comes off a bit of Bond and Bourne mixed. I’ve never been a super Bond fan, but this one does seem like I’d be more interested because it’s not the standard “Bond’s on a case” type film.

The Past: Noises Off!

The Present: Lawless

The Future: Wreck-It Ralph

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MOV116: “Allow It!”

Up on this Reel of COL: Movies we do a double take of alien Invasions! First up it’s back to the not so distant past to watch 2011’s Low Budget Sci-Fi thriller “Attack The Block” Then we Dubstep our way to present day Glenview Ohio to watch ….The Watch. Finally we look to the not so distant future to discuss our excitement for the upcoming Time Travelling mind bender of Looper. All this plus X-men and Prometheus Sequel news, plus a follow up on some hobbits taking a very unexpected journey.. all that plus more on Reel 116 “Allow It!”

News:

The Past: Attack The Block (2011)

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% Fresh; 74% Audience

Director: Joe Cornish

Staring: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail , Leeon Jones, Nick Frost

Trivia:

  • The movie takes place on Guy Fawkes night, November 5th, which is traditionally celebrated with fireworks and bonfires in England
  • Writer/director Joe Cornish was inspired to make this film after actually being mugged in real-life one night (much in the same way Sam was as portrayed in the film). He noticed his five young assailants were as scared as he was, and started researching their lives.
  • Writer/director Joe Cornish grew up and lives in South London, where this film is set.
  • Members of the gang compare the film’s aliens to various fantastical creatures, all British in origin, namely: Dobby the house-elf from J.K. Rowling’s series of Harry Potter novels; Gollum from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien; and Gremlins, who while they are now best-known for the two American films by Joe Dante, were born out of the imagination of RAF fighter pilots during World War II, and were initially popularized by author Roald Dahl in his first novel.
  • In the scene where the meteorite breaks open, a female alien cocoon is revealed. Director, Joe Cornish has expressed his wishes of keeping this prop as a back garden decoration.
  • The areas and surrounding roads are named after well-known British science fiction authors: Wyndham Tower (John Wyndham); Moore Court (Alan Moore); Huxley Court (Aldous Huxley); Wells Court (H.G. Wells); Clarke Court (Arthur C. Clarke); Ballard Street (J.G. Ballard); Adams Street (Douglas Adams); Clayton Street and Clayton Estate (Jo Clayton); and Herbert Way (Frank Herbert). James Street may allude to horror writer M.R. James.
  • In this movie, Nick Frost still wears the long hair he grew for Paul.
  • Writer/director Joe Cornish has stated that watching Signs and imagining what would happen if it took place in south London was an inspiration for Attack the Block.
  • Franz Drameh, who plays Dennis, was originally under consideration for the role of Moses.
  • Most of the teenage actors were found through their schools and online open audition calls.
  • The film-makers only used CG effects when absolutely necessary, and to enhance practical effects for the creatures rather than replace them completely. Even the smaller female alien that appears before the credits was a petite woman in a creature suit. A puppet-type head was used for some of the attack shots wherein Moses is suddenly bitten. The creature’s head was a carefully constructed mask that had no eyes, and even the glowing mouthful of large, carnivorous teeth were achieved by animatronics (including twelve “servos”) rather than added in post. The film-makers admit that it did help save money, but also had an unexpected benefit. The actors, rather than reacting to something that wasn’t there, admitted that they were genuinely and unexpectedly frightened by the look and movements of creatures actually present (especially during chase sequences when a creature/creatures would pursue them at full speed). Nearly every actor said they felt especially intimidated– many surprisingly so– by the physical presence in a way they would not have if the creatures had been added digitally later. The same went for the majority of the settings; the director said it added authenticity and atmosphere to shoot on a set rather in front of a green screen.
  • Feature film debut of director Joe Cornish.
  • All the interiors were done on sets.
  • Only two suits were built for the aliens.
  • John Boyega found out about this film from an ad placed on-line.
  • This film was pretty much shot in chronological order.
  • The marijuana cigarettes several people smoke in this movie were actually made out of herbal tobacco.
  • The scene in which Alex Esmail throws fireworks underneath a police van took three takes to get right.
  • Writer/director Joe Cornish interviewed various kids in youth groups in order to find out what kind of weapons they would use if an alien invasion occurred.
  • The walkway chase set piece took ten days to shoot.
  • Simon Howard did his own stunt when his character Biggz jumps on top of a van.
  • The scene in which the police van smashes into the BMW was done in a single take.
  • The bulk of this film was shot in 67 days.
  • Writer/director Joe Cornish did in depth research on language to accurately convey the way South London street kids speak.
  • The mugging scene was filmed on the first day of shooting.
  • Joe Cornish based the character of Brewis on himself when he was in his 20s.
  • Film debut of Alex Esmail.
  • Writer/director Joe Cornish had to remove fifteen pages of the script prior to the shooting of the film because of budgetary constraints.

Talking Points:

  • Did you find them hard to understand?
  • The Use of Practical Effects
  • The use of regular kids vs actors
  • The social satire

Critic Notes

  • Positives: brings wit, energy, cheeky insolence to the alien invasion genre; full of surprises; imaginative social satire; fans of British Sci-Fi and pop culture shouldn’t miss it; a good example of an indie film that tries to get a point across without taking itself too seriously; a decent younger sibling to “Shaun of the Dead” (same producers)
  • Negatives: Thin characters, weak dialogue, confusing ending; the heros are uninspiring; the monsters just aren’t great

What We Learned:

  • There is no FBI in England
  • Rockets go up before they come down
  • The proper pronunciation is Tesssticleeeeeeease
  • No one will call you Mayhem if your a pussy.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: This is a mediocre movie, leaning towards good. The acting wasn’t so great, but still felt very British Sci-Fi TV. Which has it’s own charm. I think it’s definitely worth seeing once but not everyone is going to like this. I had a good time watching it.
Ray: Allow It. enjoy this film immensely although I am not intimidated as much by the strong urban south London accents. I think it’s a fun creature flick. I especially liked the believability of the kids they were not cringe worthy at all. Definitely worth a watch..If your having a hard time with the accent turn on the subtitles.
Steve: I thought it was cute, although I probably didn’t get some things because of cultural references. Films like this are funny to me because I always wonder what would happen if every day people got confronted by crazy situations like this – not cops, military, or survivalists…just every day kids.

The Present: The Watch

Rotten Tomatoes: 16% Rotten; 70% Audience

Director: Akiva Scaffer

Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayode

Trivia:

  • David Dobkin was originally going to direct with Will Ferrell in the leading role, but the duo fell out in summer 2009.
  • Chris Tucker was considered for the role of Jamarcus.
  • The movie was originally titled “Neighborhood Watch”, but was changed due to sensitivity over the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida.

Talking Points:

  • Phoning It in?

Critic Notes

  • Positives: It may not be all funny, but there are some memorable moments and it is a fun comedic “adventure” comedy with the boys; perfect for a boys night out; it’s just amusing, that’s all
  • Negatives: Lazy, predictable, and full of “penis” humor; uninspired, it’s just one long Costco joke that gets old; comes off as a long, annoying SNL sketch that doesn’t know when to stop

What We Learned:

  • It takes a couple of hours to put up police tape properly
  • Laughter is a common expression of grief
  • Doo-Wop Groups were all about closing ass
  • Death makes you ineligible for a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award
  • Costco truly does have everything you need under one roof
  • Alien blood feels like cum

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: In general, I hate you Ray. However, the ending 10-15 minutes were okay and somewhat interesting. I still hate you, Ray. Stay away, folks.
Ray: I so wanted this to be good if only so more people could get to know Richard Ayode who was basically the archetype for Sheldon Cooper.. Unfortunately with the script and direction he was given his performance was the only thing even passing for mediocre in this mess. Unless you enjoy watching a train wreck, stay away or wait for it to come to netflix.. Watch Richard Ayode in The IT Crowd instead.
Steve: The mostly improvisational (or at least seemed so) dialogue was trite and most of the characters were very surface and annoying. However, I have to admit that I enjoyed it overall. Maybe I was just having a bad week and needed to laugh, but I didn’t hate it. Just be prepared for something just slightly above toilet and drug humor.

The Future: Looper

Release: September 28, 2012

Director: Rian Johnson

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

Summary:

In the year 2042, a man working for a group of killers called “Loopers” (they work for the mob and kill people who are sent blindfolded back in time from the year 2072 by their bosses) recognizes a victim as himself. He hesitates resulting in the escape of his older self.

Talking Points:

  • A unique spin on the ol’ time travel plot device

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: It wasn’t until some of the later trailers that I finally got into the mindset that this looks like a freaking awesome movie. Of course, it’s also a Bruce Willis movie, outside of The Expendables, I’ll see him in anything.
Ray: When I realized the somewhat unique premise of this film I got excited. It’s always interesting to see how smart particular writers are at explaining away temporal mechanics. I’m definitely excited to see it.
Steve: Interested in seeing what twists are going to be thrown in, but honestly not something I would personally run out and see on my own.

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV115: “Fear, Chaos, Pain”

In this reel of COL Movies, It’s another “very special episode” as the boys talk about the Dark Knight Trilogy. They kick off with the original Nolan-verse creation, “Batman Begins”, and move on to what they feel is the gem of the series, “The Dark Knight”. In theaters, of course, they review the conclusion of the triumvirate, “The Dark Knight Rises”. In trailer news, they look at the (spoiler alert) utterly forgettable preview of “The Expendables 2”. In brief movie news, we bring up John Favreau’s partnership with Pixar and Peter Jackson’s attempt at making “The Hobbit” into a trilogy! It’s the 115th reel of COL Movies…”Fear, Chaos, Pain”

News:

The Past: Batman Begins
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% Fresh; 90% Audience

The Past: The Dark Knight
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% Fresh; 96% Audience

Director: Christopher Nolan

Staring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Heath Ledger

Trivia:

Talking Points:

  • The flaw of the microwave emitter
  • When you first saw this did you expect it to be a trilogy?

What We Learned From Batman Begins:

  • The world is too small for a man like Bruce Wayne to Disappear
  • A vigilante is just a man lost in the search for his own gratification
  • Death is not considerate or friendly
  • We fall, so we can learn to pick ourselves up.
  • All creatures feel fear, especially the scary ones.
  • Invisibility is simply a matter of patience and agility
  • You always fear what you don’t understand
  • It’s not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.
  • Never go into business with someone without finding out their dirty secrets.

What We Learned From The Dark Knight:

  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.
  • When your the Gotham D.A. if your not getting shot at your not doing your Job right
  • You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain
  • Criminals aren’t complicated you just have to figure out what they are after.
  • Some men just want to watch the world burn.
  • The night is darkest just before the dawn

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Nolan has really taken an amazing approach to what has to be my favorite superhero ever. He stays relatively true the the Batman story but knows that it’s his universe and Batman does things differently in his world. Heath Ledger’s Joker was amazing and perfect for the world. I can’t recommend these movies more.
Ray: Anyone who is a fan of superhero movies needs to watch these, but the great thing about these especially The Dark Knight is that you don’t have to be. I consider The Dark Knight one of the best Crime Dramas to come around in the last 10 years, plus it’s pretty cool that Batman is in it too. Cemented by an amazing performance by Heath Ledger that also demands to be seen.
Steve: OK…I admit that I enjoyed the Dark Knight the most! Heath Ledger is awesome – although Maggie G just didn’t do a darn thing for me. That’s one time I missed Katie Holmes. Batman Begins just kind of set the stage for the rest of the films…and drags for me.

The Present: The Dark Knight Rises

Rotten Tomatoes: 86% Fresh; 93% Audience

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard

Trivia:

Talking Points:

  • The tale of two annoying voices. – Bane – Raz al Ghul
  • The soundtrack.. good or bad?
  • The Ending – could it have been done differently?
  • Sequel in the nolanverse?
  • Wait! What? Talia’s in this movie!
  • Plot Holes!

Critic Notes

  • Positives: Production value was extremely high and Nolan knew the look he was going for and delivered it; the conclusion was a fitting end to the story and the epicness of the hero;
  • Negatives: “clunky”; an ordeal to sit through; acting was manufactured; hard to understand the dialogue; extremely stretched out because every recollection had to be done in flashback; overall Nolan tanked or dialed this one in.

What We Learned:

  • Detectives are not allowed to believe in coincidences
  • People don’t pay attention to you until you put on a mask
  • Hope is really the key to torture
  • A hero can be anyone

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I was right. This movie did not pull out the amazing awesomeness that The Avengers did and I don’t expect it to perform as well in the box office still. It still was an incredible ending to the Nolan Batman story line but this was still I movie I could have waited for and just suffered from a pre-release lack of enthusiasm. I think it’s definitely worth seeing in the theaters but I wouldn’t say there’s much off a rush.
Ray: A good strong finish to the Trilogy but not my favorite of the three. This is very much the “Return of the Jedi” of the series for me, but instead of annoying ewoks, it’s got annoying vocal performances and plot holes. A must see if your a fan of the other two though.
Steve: Definitely not my favorite, except for Tom Hardy of course. Just didn’t have the same punch as the others and seemed like it was just there to wrap up the story. It was pretty though. I actually liked that they did bring stuff in from the previous movies – made it feel more complete than just 3 stand alone films.

The Future: The Expendables 2

Release: August 12, 2012

Director: Simon West

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Liam Hemsworth, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture

Summary:

After taking a seemingly simple job for Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), the Expendables find their plans going awry and one of their own is brutally murdered by rival mercenary Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme).[2] The Expendables set out into hostile territory – with their new members Bill the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) – to put a stop to a deadly weapon and gain their revenge against the people who killed their brother-in-arms

Talking Points:

  • Why are we reviewing this trailer? Did we not destroy the first film?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Hey, The Expendables again. . . . Would love to see this on Netflix streaming.
Ray: Move along…nothing to see here.
Steve: Slept through the first one…I image it will be more of the same.

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV097: “Roooooooooaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrr”

It’s the 97th Reel of COL Movies, where the boys dig into the amber to revive DNA of Mr. Spielberg’s 1993 classic, “Jurassic Park”. In theaters, they go all eco-friendly and check out the newest adaptation of the Dr. Seuss story, “The Lorax”. In trailer-land, they head into space to see if it’s possible to save the president’s daughter from the nasty criminals who are orbiting the earth in “Lockout”. All this and news about Ninja Turtles, Prometheus, and the stupid kids – I mean, younger generation – who are lobbying theaters to allow texting during movies. Really? Why don’t we just allow them to start fires and have sex while they’re at it…but I digress… All this and who knows what else in Reel 97… “Roooooooooaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrr”

News:

  • International Trailer

The Past: Jurassic Park (1993)
Rotten Tomatoes: 89% Fresh, 81% Audience

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum

Trivia:

  • William Hurt was offered the role of Dr. Grant, but he turned it down without reading the book or the script.
  • Harrison Ford turned down the role of Dr. Alan Grant.
  • Richard Attenborough’s first acting role in 15 years.
  • Michael Crichton’s agents circulated the book to six studios and directors. Warner Brothers wanted it for Tim Burton to direct while Columbia was planning it for Richard Donner. Fox was also interested and was intending the project for Joe Dante, while Universal wanted ‘Steven Spielberg’ to direct. Crichton was reluctant to submit to a bidding war, He instructed his agents to put a set price on the film rights and he could decide who was more likely to actually get the film made. After interviewing all the prospective directors, he agreed to sell the rights to Universal and Steven Spielberg, who was already his first choice.
  • In Michael Crichton’s novel, John Hammond proudly says that the narrator on the prerecorded park tour is Richard Kiley. Later, Kiley was hired to play himself in that role for the movie; possibly the first instance of a celebrity appearing in a book, and then later cast as him or herself in the film version. This feat was not repeated until 2009, when boxer Paolo Roberto played himself in the film version of The Girl Who Played with Fire. He too was already previously featured as a character in the book.
  • The glass of water sitting on the dash of the Ford Explorer was made to ripple using a guitar string that was attached to the underside of the dash beneath the glass.
  • Director Steven Spielberg was worried that computer graphics meant Nintendo type cartoon quality. He originally only wanted the herd of gallimimus dinosaurs to be computer-generated, but upon seeing ILM’s demo animation of a T-rex chasing a herd of gallimimus across his ranch, he decided to shoot nearly all the dinosaur scenes using this method. The animation was first plotted on an Amiga Toaster, and rendered for the film by Silicon Graphics’ Indigo workstations.
  • Generally speaking, any shot of a full dinosaur was computer-generated, but shots of parts of dinosaurs were of animatronics.
  • The full-sized animatron of the tyrannosaurus rex weighed about 13,000 to 15,000 pounds. During the shooting of the initial T-rex attack scene that took place in a downpour and was shot on a soundstage, the latex that covered the T-rex puppet absorbed great amounts of water, making it much heavier and harder to control. Technicians worked throughout the night with blow driers trying to dry the latex out. Eventually, they suspended a platform above the T-rex, out of camera range, to keep the water off it during filming.
  • A baby triceratops was built for a scene where one of the kids rides it. Special effects technicians worked on this effect for a year but the scene was cut at the last minute as Steven Spielberg thought it would ruin the pacing of the film.
  • In the egg-hatching scene, a new-born baby triceratops was originally supposed to come out of the egg, but it was changed to a velociraptor..
  • Many errors were corrected digitally: some stunt people were made to look like the actors, and in one scene an entire Ford Explorer was digitally generated.
  • The first film to use DTS (now Datasat) digital surround sound.
  • To study the movement of the Gallimimus herd, the film’s digital artists were ordered to run along a stretch of road with some obstacles, their hands next to their chest.
  • At one point Lex is hanging from a floorboard between stories. She looks up for a moment. The stunt double looked up accidentally while filming and Ariana Richards’ face had to be superimposed in post production.
  • Fred Sorenson was the pilot who flew the crew off Kauai when the hurricane hit during production. He played Jock, the pilot who flew Indiana Jones away in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, also directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • In this film, Steven Spielberg directs the man who beat him to the Best Director Oscar in 1983 (Richard Attenborough, whose film Gandhi also beat Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial as Best Picture).
  • The computer in the back of the computer room with the many (65536) red LEDs is actually a real computer: The Connection Machine CM-5 made by Thinking Machines. It contained many SPARC 2 RISC processors and the LEDs were added to make the machine more aesthetically pleasing than their previous models. Unfortunately, it was not actually a very good supercomputer and the company failed not long afterward. The comment about networking eight connection machines is pretty superfluous as they were meant to be used like this. The bigger problem was writing programs that efficiently mapped onto the data parallel architecture.
  • According to Daan Sandee (Thinking Machines Corp), the CM-5 super computer used in the control room was one of only two ever built to that size (1024 nodes). The other machine was at Los Alamos. The machine used in the movie was sold as smaller segments after the scenes were complete. Mirrors were used to make it seem like more CM-5’s were present.
  • Steven Spielberg was so confident with this film that he started making his next film (Schindler’s List), placing post-production in the hands of George Lucas.
  • Steven Spielberg wanted the velociraptors to be about 10 feet tall, which was taller than they were known to be. During filming, paleontologists uncovered 10-foot-tall specimens of raptors called Utahraptors.
  • Dr. Malcolm’s quip that Sattler’s and Grant’s jobs are extinct is quoted from what puppeteer Phil Tippett said to Steven Spielberg when he decided to use CGI and not Go-Motion. Spielberg stuck it into the film.i.
  • On 11 September 1992, Hurricane Iniki hit the island of Kauai, delaying production of the film. Much of the crew helped in the clean up.
  • The scene where the T-Rex comes out of the bushes and eats the gallimimus was actually shot on the island of Oahu at Kualoa Ranch. This was the only outdoor scene not filmed on Kauai, due to Hurricane Iniki.
  • Ariana Richards was upset by the fact that an action figure of her character was not produced. (Kenner only made dolls of Grant, Sattler, Muldoon, Nedry, Tim, and eventually Malcolm.)
  • After making this movie, Ariana Richards developed a great interest in dinosaurs, and assisted Jack Horner (paleontologist advisor for the film and the inspiration for the Dr. Grant character) on an actual dinosaur dig in Montana the following summer.
  • All the merchandise (T-Shirts, stuffed dinosaurs, lunch boxes, flasks, etc.) shown in the film were, in some part, actually created to be sold with the movie.
  • Before Steven Spielberg decided to use animatronic dinosaurs and computer-generated effects, he wanted to use stop motion animation for the dinosaur effects and had Phil Tippett put together a short demo of the kitchen scene using claymation dinosaurs (Barbie dolls were substituted for the actual actors).
  • After Joseph Mazzello was turned down for a role in Steven Spielberg’s Hook for being too young, Spielberg told Mazzello that he was still impressed with his audition and would try to cast him in a future project. Mazzello was then cast as Tim in this movie. His casting led Spielberg to reverse the ages of the children, as he decided that casting a girl younger than Mazzello would be too young to be placed in danger. Lex was therefore made the older child, and the computer expert as well. In Crichton’s original novel, Tim is older, and is both the dinosaur and computer enthusiast.
  • Briefly held the box office record until it was beaten by Titanic.
  • Newspaper clippings on the fridge in Grant’s trailer read “Space Aliens Stole My Face” and “Dinosaurs On Mars!”
  • The novel was published in 1990. However, pre-production of the film began in 1989, using only Michael Crichton’s manuscript. It was widely believed that the book would be such a hit that it would make an outstanding movie. It turns out that assumption was correct.
  • The original idea for Jurassic Park, came from Michael Crichton’s attempt in 1983 to write a screenplay about a Pterodactyl being cloned from an egg. The screenplay and movie never came to fruition. Originally, Crichton’s novel was rejected by his “people”, a group of about 5 or 6 personal acquaintances who always read his drafts before he sends them off. After several rejections, Crichton finally figured out what was wrong: he had originally intended for the story to be through the eyes of a child who was at the park when the dinosaurs escaped, which his peers felt was too ridiculous, and could not identify with the character. Michael Crichton re-wrote the story as it is today, and it became a huge hit. (The story also incorporates the “amusement park run amok” element of Michael Crichton’s Westworld.)
  • In the scene where the survivors are crawling through vent spaces, the computer monitors are shining on the raptor after them. This is usually mistaken as being the shadows from the air vents. It’s the letters GATC, the four letters used to denote the components of DNA.
  • For the part where the T-Rex catches a Galliminus and shakes it in his mouth, the sound was taken from a dog shaking a toy in its mouth.
  • The release strategy was planned 15 months before the studio had the chance to see a frame of the movie.
  • In the shots of the gift shop, clearly visible is a book entitled “The Making of Jurassic Park” by Don Shay and Jody Duncan. This title was published but tells the behind the scenes story of how the film was made. Jody Duncan also wrote the “Making Of” book for The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
  • Steven Spielberg considered hiring Bob Gurr to do the full size dinosaurs because he was impressed with his apes in the “Kongfrontation” ride at Universal Studios.
  • When the T-Rex comes through the glass roof of the Explorer in the first attack, the glass was not meant to break, producing the noticeably genuine screams from the children.
  • Later in the movie, as one of the jeeps pulls up, right before they get out, the camera zooms in on the jeep door. The Jurassic Park logo is on the door, but it is covered in mud so that the only words that can be read is “ur ass Park”, perhaps a subtle joke about many of the characters getting hurt or killed in the movie.
  • Universal paid Michael Crichton $2 million for the rights to his novel before it was even published.
  • Steven Spielberg was in the very early stages of pre-production for the film “ER” (based on a Michael Crichton novel), when he heard about the “Jurassic Park” book. He subsequently dumped what he was doing to make the film. Afterwards, he returned to “ER” and helped develop it into a hit TV series (ER).
  • To give the 1993 Ford Explorer XLTs the appearance that they were driverless and were running on an electric track, the SUVs were driven by remote from the rear cargo area of the vehicle. The driver was hidden under the Ford Explorer’s cargo canvas, which was always pulled closed during filming. To see where to steer the SUV, the driver watched a small TV that was fed outside images via two cameras. One camera was mounted on the dash in front of the steering wheel, and the other was mounted on the lower center portion of the front bumper, above a black box. Both cameras can be clearly seen in the movie several times.
  • Anna Chlumsky auditioned for the role of Lex.
  • In the book, the sick animal is a Stegosaurus, said by Ian Malcolm to be sick because the Jurassic era air had more oxygen than the Holocene, part of the chaos theory.
  • The company name “InGen” is the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish word for “nobody”.
  • Director Steven Spielberg and author Michael Crichton first met over two decades earlier, when Spielberg gave Crichton a tour of Universal Studios during the production of The Andromeda Strain.
  • Was followed by two sequels. There were plans for a fourth film, but they were immediately scrapped in late 2008, after the death of Michael Crichton.
  • As the movie was released in Costa Rica, local theater owners scratched/blurred the San Jose tag during the scene when Nedry waits for his contact in what supposedly was the country’s capital, because the local audiences reacted negatively to inaccuracies in the scene’s geography.
  • There are only 15 minutes of actual dinosaur footage in the film: 9 minutes are Stan Winston’s animatronics, 6 minutes of it is ILM’s CGI.
  • The real species called Velociraptor was much smaller (about turkey-sized) than the animals in the film and were believed to have been feathered. They were part of bipedal, bird-like predators of the family Dromaeosauridae, some of which were even larger than the “velociraptors” in the film.
  • Much of the behavior seen in the film is based on modern wild animals, since little is known of the actual behavior of dinosaurs.
  • The picture that can be seen taped to programmer Dennis Nedry’s computer monitor is of J. Robert Oppenheimer. The picture is partly obscured by a post-it with an atomic bomb mushroom cloud drawn on it.
  • Years after this film wrapped, it was discovered due to fossil impressions of velociraptor skin that they were feathered, implying that Grant was indeed right that they evolved into birds.
  • Richard Attenborough plays Joseph Mazzello’s grandfather. He subsequently cast Mazzello in his next film, Shadowlands.
  • Grant and Sattler unearth a velociraptor skeleton in Montana early in the film, and later encounter live velociraptors that are about the size of a full grown human. In reality, velociraptors were only about half the size of the animals seen in the film, and their remains have mainly been found in Asia, never in Montana. The species identified as velociraptor in the film is actually more consistent with Deinonychus. When Michael Crichton was doing his research, scientific thinking was that Velociraptor and Deinonychus were variations on the same species.
  • Hammond (Richard Attenborough) creates the dinosaurs from DNA trapped in amber. He also carries around a cane capped with a mosquito in amber. Attenborough’s brother is naturalist David Attenborough, who has his own collection of animals trapped in amber. This was the focus of The Natural World: The Amber Time Machine.
  • Steven Spielberg delayed the beginning of filming by several weeks to get the cast he wanted. First he allowed Richard Attenborough to finish post-production on his own film Chaplin before committing to the film. He also waited until Sam Neill could finish filming Family Pictures. Neill ended up only having a weekend off between finishing that film and starting this one.
  • Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) dresses entirely in black in both this film and its sequel. In the book, he tells Ellie Sattler that he only ever dresses in black and gray, so that he never has to waste time thinking about what to wear. Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) gives the same reason for his monotonous fashion sense in The Fly.
  • Alan Grant is modeled after Paleontologist Jack Horner who, like Grant, digs and teaches in Montana, and was also a technical advisor on this film.
  • The scene where Grant, Tim and Lex meet the heard of Gallimimuses was scheduled to be the last scene shot on location in Kauai. When Hurricane Iniki hit, filming for this scene had to be postponed. Production returned to California and then, a few weeks later, Sam Neill, Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards had to travel back to Hawaii, but this time to the island of Oahu, to shoot the scene.
  • The guest’s encounter with the sick Triceratops ends without any clear explanation as to why the animal is sick. Michael Crichton’s original novel and the screenplay, however, includes an explanation: the Stegosaur/Triceratops lacked suitable teeth for grinding food and so, like birds, would swallow rocks and use them as gizzard stones. In the digestive tract, these rocks would grind the food to aid in digestion. After six weeks, the rocks would become too smooth to be useful, and the animal would regurgitate them. When finding and eating new rocks to use, the animal would also swallow West Indian Lilac berries. The fact that the berries and stones are regurgitated explains why Ellie never finds traces of them in the animal’s excrement.
  • It was while supervising post-production on this film that George Lucas decided that technology was good enough to begin work on the Star Wars prequels. Appropriately, Samuel L. Jackson was able to appear in those films as well.
  • Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ally Sheedy, Geena Davis, Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Grey, Kelly McGillis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julia Roberts, Linda Hamilton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bridget Fonda, Joan Cusack, and Debra Winger were all considered for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler.
  • Michael Crichton has said that his views on science and genetic engineering are largely expressed by Ian Malcolm. Steven Spielberg saw many parallels to himself in the character of John Hammond. Fittingly, he cast a fellow filmmaker in the role, who begins his tour of the park by showing a film, in which he also acts. While Malcolm is dressed entirely in black, Hammond wears all white.
  • The character played by Cameron Thor is named Lewis Dodgson. Author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Lewis Carroll was born with the name Charles Dodgson. Since both the first and last names of the character are written with the less common spellings which Carroll used, this is a fairly obvious nod to him, although the reason for the joke is unclear. Lewis Carroll’s novel is referenced again when Nedry names his program to sabotage the park security systems “White Rabbit.”
  • The crew were caught in a very dangerous Hurricane, Hurricane Iniki which hit the island of Kauai. The film-makers managed to capture shots from the Hurricane and use it in the movie. This incident was told in a recent episode of Storm Stories.
  • The tyrannosaur paddock set was constructed both on location and as a studio set. The former was for the daytime scene in which the creature fails to appear, and the latter for its nighttime escape, in order to accommodate Stan Winston’s robotic t-rex. This set required a soundstage much bigger than Universal had to offer, so it was filmed at Warner Bros.
  • The sounds made by the Dilophosaurus were a combination of the sounds of howler monkeys, hawks, rattlesnakes, and swans. The main cry of the Velicoraptors was a combination of the sounds of elephant seal pups, dolphins and walruses. The elephant seal sounds were recorded at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA, a marine mammal hospital that rehabilitates and releases sick and injured seals and sea lions.
  • The Tyrannosaurus’ roars were a combination of dog, penguin, tiger, alligator, and elephant sounds.
  • The sounds made by the Brachiosaurs were a combination of whale and donkey sounds.
  • Except for some very brief glimpses in the opening scene, the adult velociraptors – often cited as the most memorable dinosaurs in this film – don’t make an on-screen appearance until over 103 minutes into the movie.
  • While discussing chaos theory, Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) shamelessly flirts with Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern). After meeting on this film, the two actors began a romantic relationship, and were engaged for two years before breaking up.
  • The film cut out many species of dinosaur that were featured in the novel for budgetary and technological reasons. One of these was a small, chicken-sized dinosaur called Procompsognathids, which later made an appearance in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Dr. Wu explains their reason for having this creature: Dinosaur excrement, he presumes, would have been bio-degradable during the Cenozoic era. However, in the modern day, bacteria have evolved to the point that it is no longer able to break down dinosaur waste, and the larger dinosaurs produce quite a lot of it. “Compys,” as they are called, eat the other dinosaurs’ waste and then excrete it themselves in smaller piles which are more easily broken down by present-day bacteria. The lack of compys in the film may explain the mountain of excrement that Ellie finds.
  • Phil Tippett became quite depressed when he learned that none of the stop-motion creatures he had been developing would be used in the film. However, shortly after that decision had been made, ILM animators discovered they did actually have a use for him. While none of his stop-motion models would be seen in the film, his techniques were determined to be quite useful in animating the computer-generated dinosaurs, especially given how much research he had put into animal movement. Rather than creating the dinosaur motion using key-frame animation, it was decided to build a stop-motion armature for each computer generated dinosaur and manipulate it as they would for a stop-motion film. These armatures were specially built with motion-sensors, and linked up to the animated dinosaurs being created on the computer. Thus, the motion of the stop-motion armature was directly translated into the computer-generated version that appears in the final film.
  • Shortly after Nedry makes his first appearance in the control room, during his argument with Hammond, you can clearly see the movie Jaws playing in a small video window on one of Nedry’s computer screens. That movie was, of course, directed by Steven Speilberg.
  • When Hurricane Iniki hit, the cast and crew were all required to move into the ballroom of the hotel they were staying in. Richard Attenborough, however, stayed in his hotel room, and slept through the entire event. When asked how he could possibly have done this, Attenborough replied, “My dear boy, I survived the blitz!”

Talking Points:

  • Does it hold up? VR Display, CD Rom …
  • The Score

What We’ve Learned:

  • Fat guys eating are almost always the villain
  • Auto-erotica <> Animatronic
  • Life will not be contained, life finds a way
  • Don’t be so preoccupied with could that you don’t worry about weather you should!
  • Discovery is a vile penetrative act that scars what it explores
  • Keep your windows UP! don’t move! and stay in the dang car!
  • Animals are never out in the zoo when you WANT to see them
  • Anything all can and does happen
  • If it’s heavy it’s expensive
  • Creation is an act of force
  • Control is an illusion

Trailer

Recommendations:
Jeff: Always considered a classic in my book. This was the introduction to a new age of digital effects and was absolutely brilliantly done. If you haven’t seen this before, what is wrong with you. Buy it for your DVD or digital library NOW.
Ray: Still holds up, the score still gives me goosebumps. If you have not seen this you should. No it’s not Shakespeare but it is what I consider the perfect Spielberg action movie. Wonder, punctuated with moments of absolute terror.
Steve: Overall…amazing movie! Really pushed the boundaries at the time it was made and comes off as a classic. Scary, in a “don’t mess with nature” kind of way – without being preachy.

The Present: Dr. Seuss The Lorax
Rotten Tomatoes: 57% Rotten; 72% Audience

Directors: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda

Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito

Trivia:

  • The characters of Ted and Audrey are named after Dr. Seuss (whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel) and his second wife Audrey Geisel.
  • Danny DeVito will also be the voice of The Lorax for the Spanish, Russian, Italian and German dubbed versions.
  • This is the first film to feature Universal’s 100th Anniversary logo.
  • Unlike the original book, the Once-ler is shown fully in the story as a human. Executive producer Christopher Meledandri said of the change, “The minute you make the Once-ler a monster, you allow the audience to interpret that the problem is caused by somebody who is different from me, and it ceases to be a story that is about all of us. Then it’s a story about, ‘Oh I see, the person who led us into the predicament is not a person. It’s somebody very, very different.’ And so it takes you off the hook.”
  • The film premiered on March 2, 2012 – Dr. Seuss’s 108th birthday.
  • Craig Ferguson was considered to play the Lorax.
  • Argentinian film producer Axel Kuschevatzky dubbed Mr. O’Hare on the Latin American Spanish speaking prints of the movie.
  • Despite being the two main characters of the film, The Lorax and Ted never appear in a scene together.

Talking Points:

  • The Controversy , The Message

What We Learned:

  • If you put things in plastic bottles, people will buy it.
  • If a guy does a stupid thing once, it’s because he’s a guy. If it’s twice it’s because of a girl.
  • Bears can be used as defibrillators
  • Sleep is the body’s way of telling other people to go away.
  • The Tree falls the way it leans, so be careful which way you lean

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: Very cute film and neat retelling of the Dr. Seuss story. Definitely a kids movie. Take the kids to the theater, but for yourself, could just wait for DVD or Streaming.
Ray: Cute film, even if the message is a little bit heavy handed. It was entertaining, not sure if the 3D was really worth it, but it did make the thing pop off the screen.
Steve:. I’m generally all for animation…and I’m a fan of Dr. S! However, I was just entertained by the visuals – not much at all by dialogue or overall story. So…it looked good. That’s all I can offer.

The Future: Lockout

Release: March 30, 2012

Director: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger

Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare

Summary:

A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.

Talking Points

  • Anyone else get an escape from new york vibe with this? rescue in a prison.. main characters name is snow instead of snake

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Looks like a fun sci-fi B-ish movie. I’ll see it, but not any sort of priority.
Ray: Looks ok, not sure I’d run out to see it, but definitely a rental or Netflix
Steve: Looks exciting, but probably saw the best of it in the trailer. Con-Air in space? Comes off as a rental to me.

Coming Attractions

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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